British singer Gary Barlow's confidence was so shattered by Take That's split in 1996, his songwriting ability "evaporated".
The group disbanded in the 1990s and Barlow launched a solo career, but a lack of chart success hit the star hard - and he found himself unable to pen decent tracks.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "I don't know if it was writer's block because I would come up with stuff but it was just rubbish.
"I've always had a good ear, my intuition is good with new music, but I knew straight away that nothing I was coming up with was any good.
"Most of what you do - the big part of you - is gone, it's evaporated. Your question is, 'Is it going to come back?' I ended up with no confidence as a writer.
"You are not going to come up with anything without confidence. Doing something with all your confidence stripped is hard - it would have been better to take 10 years off."
The star has since gone on to pen songs for other artists including Dame Shirley Bassey, Charlotte Church and Will Young, as well as for the reformed Take That after reuniting the group in 2006.